Soroptomist’s Diamonds and Divas –

Soroptimist International of San Diego presented a luncheon, awards ceremony and fashion show on March 12 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. The event started with an amazing shopping experience. Boutique vendors were set up with beautiful handbags such as Tina Frantz Designs, Couture fashion jewelry from Leonard Simpson and trendy clothes from BE Boutique to name a few. The theme of the event was “Diamonds & Divas”. Entertainment was provided by The Flaxtones.

Ms California US 2021: Andria Elam

After a pleasant morning of shopping, the guests all retired to the Silver Pearl Ballroom. Each table was beautifully decorated with bead-draped Tiffany boxes. NBC San Diego’s Rory Devine and TV personality Geni Cavitt were the afternoon emcees. They announced the Live Your Dream Awards, which provide education and training awards for women. These nine women are overcoming major obstacles through education. The winners were Natalie Allison, Nancy Beas, Jabrasia Dogg, Sandy Gonzalez, Wafaa Kamil, Aleena Penny, Ruby Romero, Chaleese and Beverly Meza.

The fashion show (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro)

Over lunch, they held a live auction with Erin Liddell as auctioneer. For this Paddle Raise section, she managed to get the public excited about donating to the Soroptimist so they can continue their important work. Liddell was able to raise over $20,000 for this program. The animation and fashion show began after lunch under the direction of Gretchen Productions. In keeping with the theme, this entertaining show began with the song “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend”. Gretchen Burns adds singing and dancing to fashion shows as her signature look. The models took to the catwalk wearing outfits from local boutiques and Macy’s Fashion Valley. One of the knockout models was Andria Elam, Ms. California US 2021.

This local chapter of Soroptimist is a non-profit organization that provides education and training for women and girls. In addition to giving the Live Your Dream awards, they also help the Second Chance program which helps women transition from prison to the community. They donate backpacks with school supplies to Girls Rising and also work with Kitchens For Good to support women in the culinary/hospitality arts. They formed STAT! with a desire to help fight human trafficking in San Diego. For the past 20 years, they have purchased a hand-knotted carpet from the Mardin school in eastern Turkey which is auctioned at the event. For more information on the Soroptimist, visit

Events to come

bridal bazaar with fashion shows presented by Gretchen Productions at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Two shows presented on April 10, 2022. For more info: 760-334-5500.

MARALOVE- Celebrate Earth Day by discovering the artistry of MARALOVE’s Upcycled Sustainable Style Parade at Westfield Mission Valley from 5:30-9 p.m. on April 22. The event is free but you must register to attend

Saturday April 23, 2022- FWSD22 Spring Showcase at the Republic Hotel. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. For more information, visit

Sarah C. Figueiredo